Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Jess Zimmerman's Posts

Comments

Mom could be arrested for letting her kid bike to school

There are a few factors that make it tricky for kids to bike or walk alone: Bad drivers who face insufficient consequences, lack of sidewalks and protected bike lanes, too few crosswalks. We COULD improve biking and walking infrastructure, and have cops actually crack down on illegal driving maneuvers. But that's hard! Instead, let's just arrest everybody who doesn't drive their kids to school. That appears to be the approach in Elizabethton, Tenn., where Teresa Tryon has been threatened with arrest if she keeps letting her daughter bike to school on her own. Tryon lives only a mile from her 5th-grader's …

Read more: Biking, Cities, Family

Comments

Nothing says eco-tourism like a 21-foot crocodile

What do you do with a suspected man-eating crocodile the size of a small aircraft? Make it the highlight of an eco-tourism park. At least, that's what wildlife authorities in the Philippines are doing with a 21-foot crocodile they caught this weekend. Lord, if only Steve Irwin were here to see this.

Read more: Animals

Comments

Introducing the self-inflating bicycle tire

PumpTire has developed the world's first self-inflating bike tire, which actually takes in air and inflates to ideal pressure as you ride. This won't keep you from ever getting a flat or anything, but it could spare you a lot of tedious adjusting and checking of tire pressure. The company is raising money on Kickstarter to make the tires commercially available. You can pledge $45 to get one self-inflating tire, plus a pressure control valve and an inner tube, or $75 for two -- not too bad as long as they last a reasonably long time. 

Read more: Biking, Cities

Comments

How to assess hurricane damage using waffles

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has an idiosyncratic (and tasty) way of determining the damage caused by a hurricane: the Waffle House Index. The iconic Southern chain is so widespread -- and so stalwart -- that you can gauge a storm's severity based on whether the local Waffle Houses closed. Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an area is limited and the lights are on. Yellow means a limited menu, indicating power from a generator, at best, and low food supplies. Red means the restaurant is closed, a sign of severe damage …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Obama blows smog in everyone's face

President Obama has yanked back the EPA's proposed new restrictions on ground-level ozone (i.e. smog). That's a huge win for Big Business, which had claimed it couldn't weather an economic downturn AND keep from suffocating people at the same time. But it's an equally huge loss for everyone else -- especially since the reason the EPA was revising the smog standards in the first place was because the allowable limit was well above safe levels, according to the agency's science advisors. The revised smog standard would have put federal dollars on the line for states that couldn't keep their ozone …

Comments

Raising chickens is totally rock and roll

Jenifer Jourdanne has expensive tastes, expensive shoes, and "designer chickens." In an essay in xoJane, she talks about how her long-standing backyard coop didn't dent her rocker cred: I will have you know I was a maverick. I was the girl in the early 90s at Viper Room where people would say things like “Slash, come over here, no really, this chick has pet chickens!" I mean I am sure they probably thought I used them in an adult act but sorry to bore you, they just walk around my herb gardens looking for snails. Backyard agriculture, says Jourdanne, doesn't …

Comments

Are vegetarians more fun in the sack?

Apparently vegetarians do eat meat. Data from the online dating site OKCupid indicate that vegetarians enjoy giving oral sex more -- or anyway, they say they do. There are all sorts of causation and correlation-based theories we could attempt here, but we'll just let your imaginations run wild. We'll simply note that, inevitable confounding factors aside, the sample size here is many, many times larger than almost any study that you've seen reported, ever. So put that in your "pipe" and "smoke" it.

Read more: Food, Living, Sex

Comments

Climate convert says deniers are dumb

In a beautifully written post on Climate Crocks, former skeptic D.R. Tucker illuminates the way that far-right climate change denialism encourages and feeds off of science-phobia. Tucker is clearly far from stupid, but he wonders if stupidity is a required characteristic for climate change denial -- not because there's really an IQ requirement, but because denialists glorify ignorance and roll their eyes at complexity. That's appealing to dumb people, surely. But it's also appealing to people who lack for good science education or who think they're dumb at science, and who feel disadvantaged and judged because of it. Climate deniers …

Comments

video

Don Cheadle's Captain Planet is not taking any crap from you

Yeah, whatever it is Captain Planet does is cool and all. (What does he do? Recycle really hard?) But certified badass Don Cheadle has a better idea, one that will save the Earth FOREVER. 

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Musical GPS lets you steer your bike without looking at a screen

It's hard enough to look at your GPS and at the road while you're driving, but on a bike that split second of inattention could easily lead to injury. So Dutch researchers, who know from biking, have developed a music-based navigation system called "Oh Music, Where Art Thou?" It's a smartphone app that lets you navigate by following a strain of music through the streets. If the sound seems to come from the right, you go right; if it comes from the left, you go left. (Hopefully there's a needle-scratch feature for missing your turn.) Does it work? In the …

Read more: Biking, Cities